CHARLESTON - The parents of a 5-year-old girl who was attacked by a Rottweiler have filed a lawsuit against the dog's owners seeking compensation.

Richard Shaun Bailey filed a suit March 28 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Jeffrey Legg and Jessica Cardinale, Fred and Connie Hudson and McNiel Fence Company.

Bailey's daughter, Alexis, was attacked on July 6, 2006, by Ninja, a Rottweiler owned by Legg and Cardinale.

The suit says Alexis was riding her bike with her mother on a public sidewalk when Ninja ran under the chain link fence and attacked her. According to the suit, Alexis' mother was a few feet behind her and could not stop Ninja from knocking Alexis off her bike.

"Ninja grasped Alexis in his powerful jaw and violently shook her like a rag doll," the suit says. "Alexis' mother screamed for help and dove upon the viscous animal which was attacking Alexis."

The suit says Alexis was bloody and in shock after being bitten on her right hip, buttock, ankle and left arm and elbow.

According to the lawsuit, Ninja had a history of biting and attacking people prior to this attack. The suit also says Legg and Cardinale are aware of how viscous Ninja is and also keep other dogs, including a Pit Bull, on their property. A "Beware of Dogs" sign was on the front gate of their property.

Bailey claims in the suit that Legg and Cardinale did not properly secure Ninja and allowed him to escape.

The suit also claims McNiel Fence Company did not properly install a chain link fence because a gap existed which allowed the dog to escape.

In a five-count suit, attorney Jonathan Mani claims Legg and Cardinale were in violation of West Virginia Code requiring that any owner of keeper of any dog who permits such dog to run at large shall be liable for any damages inflicted upon the person or property of another by such dog while running at large.

The Hudsons were named defendants because they own the property on which Legg and Cardinale live and the suit claims they had a duty to assure dangerous conditions did not exist.

Bailey seeks compensatory damages against all the defendants, for medical expenses, pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement and scarring, negligence and any other relief the court sees fit.

The case has been assigned to Judge Jennifer Bailey Walker.

Kanawha Circuit Court case 07-C-591

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